Give me liberty … corporate feudalism in Australia

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There’s a link doing the rounds that deserves a much wider audience and certainly a greater role in the national consciousness. This particular precis, which can be found here, is a study conducted by Dr Lawrence Britt in 2003 detailing the defining traits of fascism. The difference between facism and corporate feudalism is of purely academic interest. The reason that both views are so pertinent is because our current “government” displays a terrifying number of these traits. For your convenience I have re-posted the article below along with concrete evidence of the Orwellian abyss we find ourselves tumbling into. Please read and consider, because while the horse may have bolted there is still a chance that we can prevent further harm.

1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism
Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.

Here’s Abbott accusing the national broadcaster of being unpatriotic. Or that coalition policies will always have “an Aussie accent”. Or considering himself a “pragmatic nationalist”.

2. Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights
Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of “need.” The people tend to look the other way or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, etc.

Such as breaching international human rights violations. Or how Abbott is OK with tortureHere’s the government’s massive cutback on international aid for people that aren’t Australian. Or appointing the man who most vocally called for the abolition of the Human Rights Commission as commissioner for the Human Rights Commission.  How about literally tearing a newborn from a mother’s arms?

3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause 
The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial , ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists, terrorists, etc. 

The ad nauseum “stop the boats” bullshit.

How about Abbott’s staggeringly complex assessment of geo-political conflicts as “goodies vs baddies

Here’s our man Cory Bernadi fueling the fire. And another one here. And here’s Tony continuing to declare boat people “illegal” despite that being, you know, grossly untrue.

4. Supremacy of the Military
Even when there are widespread domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized.

On the navy breaching sovereign Indonesian waters, firing upon asylum seeker vessels and generally treating asylum seekers like sub-humans, Abbott is pro navy all the way. How about the Immigration Minister not even reading the documents detailing this before sealing them up for eternity?

5. Rampant Sexism 
The governments of fascist nations tend to be almost exclusively male-dominated. Under fascist regimes, traditional gender roles are made more rigid. Divorce, abortion and homosexuality are suppressed and the state is represented as the ultimate guardian of the family institution.

After a career of being dogged for his misogynist views (and actually being a misogynist on more than one documented occasion), Abbott appoints himself as minister for women. At the very best he is a confused, small minded sexist. Then there’s the plethora of “traditional family” agitprop that I’ve linked a fair bit elsewhere in this post.

6. Controlled Mass Media 
Sometimes to media is directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship, especially in war time, is very common.

Case in point

or controlling what people say. Upon failing to stop the boats instead stops mention of the boats.

7. Obsession with National Security 
Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses.

Such as spying on close neighbour and legitimate military threat Indonesia, admitting to spying on Indonesia on national television and then refusing to apologise for such. Or gagging discussion of asylum seekers. Let’s be scared of Syria for some reason. 

8. Religion and Government are Intertwined
Governments in fascist nations tend to use the most common religion in the nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion. Religious rhetoric and terminology is common from government leaders, even when the major tenets of the religion are diametrically opposed to the government’s policies or actions.

Tone Loc details his relationship with the big J here.
What about the antics of the ever lovable Cory Bernadi here, And here. Abbott of course tried to distance himself from Bernadi with these comments – only kidding, he’s all aboard the good ship God Hates Fags. Here’s the Ab-man not only denying equal rights for homosexuals but issuing a legal challenge to repeal those rights.

9. Corporate Power is Protected
The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite.

T-Bone reducing the ability of small business to be competitive. Or caving to the forestry industryOr giving Palmer a reach around. Or approving a fucking coal port in one of the seven wonders of the natural worldAllowing corporations to sue the Australian government. Boosting the powers of business at the expense of workers.

10. Labor Power is Suppressed 
Because the organizing power of labor is the only real threat to a fascist government, labor unions are either eliminated entirely, or are severely suppressed.

Such as the Abbott witch-hunt on unions herehere and here, or this astonishing piece of legislation.

11. Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts 
Fascist nations tend to promote and tolerate open hostility to higher education, and academia. It is not uncommon for professors and other academics to be censored or even arrested. Free expression in the arts and letters is openly attacked.

Live music is out. Or repealing scholarships into loansCutting funding for universities. CSIRO? Fuck thatAbolishing the ministries of climate change and science.

12. Obsession with Crime and Punishment
Under fascist regimes, the police are given almost limitless power to enforce laws. The people are often willing to overlook police abuses and even forego civil liberties in the name of patriotism. There is often a national police force with virtually unlimited power in fascist nations.

Like deporting asylum seekers for swearing or spreading gossipFreedom of association is an outdated concept right? Oh, you like to go out at night? Only thieves and vampires go out at night, you should be tucked in ready to go to church in the morning.

13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption
Fascist regimes almost always are governed by groups of friends and associates who appoint each other to government positions and use governmental power and authority to protect their friends from accountability. It is not uncommon in fascist regimes for national resources and even treasures to be appropriated or even outright stolen by government leaders.

Exhibit AExhibit BExhibit C.

14. Fraudulent Elections
Sometimes elections in fascist nations are a complete sham. Other times elections are manipulated by smear campaigns against or even assassination of opposition candidates, use of legislation to control voting numbers or political district boundaries, and manipulation of the media. Fascist nations also typically use their judiciaries to manipulate or control elections.

Just lie, beg, borrow or steal whatever you need to win office. Do whatever it takes, promise the world. Then do whatever the fuck you want once you’re there. Here’s a neat little summary of the Liberal government’s fraudulent promises to the Australian people.

People this is real, this is happening and this is scary. The worst thing is it only happens because you let it. You have the power to stop it. You had the power to prevent it and you failed and now we’re all suffering the consequences. But it isn’t too late for redemption. Switch on, pay attention, get involved and get active and maybe, just maybe, we can win the good fight.


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